Thanksgiving Wellness & Nutrition Tips
Its that time of the year again, folks. Football, parades, family get-togethers and food, it is the holiday season. With Thanksgiving coming up and the obstacles that come with the holidays, it sounds almost outright impossible to stay the course with your diet. However, there are several things that you can do to make your thanksgiving meals have more nutrition and your holiday season happier. We mentioned a few in the past, but this year, we are offering a fresh take on this year’s Thanksgiving Season!
Incorporate Real Traditional Dishes for Better Nutrition
While we certainly cemented traditional food into the mix, these classic foods hold a secret. Alot of them werent available for the first Thanksgiving feast. According to Mental Floss,
“You may be surprised to learn that some of the foods that are traditional Thanksgiving fare were not available for the Pilgrim’s celebration. They may have had cranberries, but they didn’t have sugar to make sauce. Sweet potatoes or yams were not common to the area, much less white potatoes. Pumpkin pie recipes did not exist at the time, and there were no proper ovens to bake pastries, anyway. Any milk or cheese had to have come from goats, as the Pilgrims did not bring cows with them from England.”
If anything the Pilgrims relied on various meats, vegetables, and nuts for that feast. There were a variety of fowl, shellfish, nuts and berries that were part of the feast. The closest thing they had that was sweet was cornbread pudding.
While you can’t replicate everything, considering swaping out a starchy side or two with another type of meat, or a combination of dried fruit and nuts. This might not only be a better dietary decision for the thanksgiving feast, but is also an opprotunity for an educational experience.
Maybe you and your family can’t do without your famous recipes. That is a-ok! After all, we have our favorites for a reason. Another way to help you and your family stick to your diet, is to substitute ingredients.
For instance if a mashed potato recipe call for sour cream, butter, and mayo, you could swap one or all three out with their low caloric counterparts. Hardly any one can tell the difference and you can still have the dish that you and your family love.
If you or your family are used to doing things instant, you might want to reconsider swapping it out with a homemade recipe. The preservation process that is involved in instant meals bombards the ingredients with excess salts and sugars. Not only that, but usually they are lacking in nutrition and for the most part wind up tasteless.
Even if you are making your dishes days ahead, or you ask other people to help you, the pay off is not only more healthy, it is also an all around better Thanksgiving experience.
Plan a Physical Family Activity
While it is all too tempting to eat your weight in turkey and sleep it off, it can rob you and your family of some time that you can spend together. Instead, plan an activity that encourages people to move around. Maybe everyone can walk outside after dinner? You could set the yard up for football, Or you guys can book a session of laser tag. As long as it encourages some physical activity, some of those excess calories are getting worked off.
If you cant do that immediately after, you can certainly plan something for the day after, or the day before. Just get a fun family activity that falls under the category of a workout.
At least, you and your family are likely to feel less guilty about the feast.
Also, don’t let anyone pull that tryptophan excuse. Not only is that amino acid an essential part of the human diet, it doesnt even control feelings of sleepiness. If anything the act of overeating is what causes the drowsiness.
Nutrition doesnt have to be drudgery, nor does it have to be painful. In fact, it can be painlessly incorporated into the holiday feast with a little ingenuity and positive attitude. This is the season for happiness and a thankful attiude, not beating yourself up. So, don’t sweat about your dietary needs clashing with your holiday wants. As long as you are willing to put in a little work and creativity, you can even get the whole family in on a happier and healthier holiday season.